Monday, January 24, 2011

A time to reflect, a time to serve...

First official blog post!  I’m very excited for the start of something very new in my life. I hope this brightens your Monday morning!  

In the beginning of December, I decided that I should probably start working on our family’s Christmas letter.  Although it is somewhat time-consuming, I enjoy reflecting on all the year held for us.  Now, in 2009 it was difficult to keep the length of our Christmas letter to a tolerable amount.  So much happened that year! – the birth of our son, my husband graduating from seminary, responding to the call of pastor at the church we are still serving.  So, this year I excitedly sat down, opened up a new Word document on my laptop, and began the reflecting process.
After 20 minutes of reflecting I didn’t even have a complete sentence.  To my dismay, I could not think of even one Christmas letter worthy event from 2010!  I knew I must be forgetting something and later informed my husband of my predicament, to which he responded, “Yeah, I can’t think of anything either.” It was in that moment that I felt that we had somehow failed God in 2010.  Ultimately we decided not to include a Christmas letter with our photo cards this year (which made things so much easier).  Unfortunately I still struggled with the possibility that we had an unsuccessful year. 

For weeks I contemplated this dilemma and eventually was led to what I believe is an accurate assessment of 2010.  Whereas 2009 was a year of major life changes, 2010 was a year of transitioning.  God gave us 2010, with all its trials and blessings, to grow where he planted us in 2009.  It may not look exciting to anyone else, but it was beneficial to us. 
Unfortunately many people are quick to say “good riddance” to each year, hoping that the new year will bring greater satisfaction.  Along with this view comes an onslaught of typical New Year’s resolutions.  Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of them.  Maybe it’s the fact that I, like many others, consistently failed at keeping them – some not even lasting through the first month of the year!  The bigger reason why I’ve often shied away is that they always seemed so selfish (self-motivated, self-reliant, and self-driven).  As a servant of God (not self), I try to flee from such desires – and that is what I’ve done. 

As I spent time reflecting on all that God did in my life in 2010, I realized that I may have made a huge mistake over the last several years with my non-resolving rebellious attitude.  (Okay, maybe that’s a little over dramatic, but you get the picture.)  It dawned on me that God intends for us to reflect on what he’s done and contemplate how that should impact how we live now and what we strive for in our future.  If he didn’t, then what is the purpose of His Word that has been preserved throughout thousands of years, marking the history of God and his dealings with sinful mankind and provision of a loving Savior?  Why read it if not to learn from it and change the way we live now and give us a hope for our future? 

All of this led to my making a list of my goals for 2010.  (I’m still resistant to calling them “resolutions”.)  I’ve prayed about each of these goals and am prepared to do all that I can to see each one through, as God sees fit.  I fully understand that God is ultimately in control over each event that takes place in my life and even if none of my goals is reached by the end of 2011, I know all that I do will be with the ultimate goal of serving and loving God greater. 

~ Carrie ~

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

1 Peter 4:10-12

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